Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Inside the Lines

Michael and Jessica discuss the The Grid, which uses artificial intelligence to design websites, the history of grids, and the unlikely success of coloring books for adults.

Also discussed:
• Josef Müller-Brockmann, Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Michael Kimmelman on the new Whitney Museum
The Thesis Book Project
• Johanna Basford, Secret Garden
A History of the Cake Mix

This episode is sponsored by Blurb, where your ideas become great books. To get a 20% discount, listen to learn more.

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Posted in: Graphic Design, Media, The Observatory

Comments [1]

I love these Socratic dialogues about design that y'all put together; please keep it up. Jessica, I'm amused by the fact that you automatically jump to the conclusion that The Grid(.io) is named for the design principle, and not for a broader concept. To the general public, The Grid is a much more etherial idea, as in "on The Grid" or "off The Grid." Which is why, after watching the video and reading every bit of copy on The Grid(.io)'s site, I can't tell if it's an actual well-intentioned hubristic Silicon Valley Startup with technoutopian ideals, or a satire of one. The big, consumer-facing idea is websites that design themselves, but as you dig deeper you see that their founders have bigger aspirations. Things like this: "Stop spending all of your time looking for content to fill your site. The Grid allows you to follow any website on the internet, adding updates to your newsfeed that you can instantly add to your site." And the Privacy Policy is pretty standard boilerplate tech company, but it still reads as pretty Orwellian: "When you interact with us through the Services, we may collect Personal Data and other information from you" After all, The Grid isn't that different of a concept from The Matrix, is it?
Eric Doctor

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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